I thoroughly enjoyed Simon Taylor’s Stuart Graham article in the August edition. It brought back memories of my dad taking me and a mate to Oulton Park for the first time in 1968. We went to see Giacomo Agostini on his MVs — and Stuart’s victory on an incredibly fast ex-works 125cc Suzuki 125 was one of the day’s highlights (and I don’t like two-strokes).
He and the bike were tiny, but left the competition behind. We were watching just before Lodge Corner and, as Stuart was out on his own in the lead, you could clearly hear the bike coming. I remember the ting-ting-ting of the two-stroke as he went down the gearbox — we swore he changed down at least 10 times. We thought it had about 16 gears.
Barry Sheene subsequently acquired the bike and I saw him ride it on his only appearance in the Isle of Man, although unfortunately he dropped it at Quarter Bridge.
During the early 1970s I was taking external exams in London, left early one day and stumbled upon Sheene’s workshop with all his bikes, including the 125cc Suzuki. I spent a few hours talking to him and his dad Franco — a highly skilled motorcycle tuner — instead of doing any revision.
I found Stuart’s stories about Mike Hailwood very enlightening — it’s one of my great regrets that I didn’t see Mike racing bikes or cars. Can I suggest that Mike Hailwood should be included in the Motor Sport Hall of Fame? He was someone who stands at the same level as Stirling Moss and Jim Clark — well worth a feature, I’d have thought.
And thanks again, Stuart, for the memories. I was very impressed.
Mike Bromley, Shaftesbury Dorset